By Elijah Felice Rosales | The Philippine Star
April 29, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is eyeing the construction of a floating bridge connecting Oriental Mindoro with Batangas to spur trade and travel in Southern Tagalog.
SMC has started negotiatiations with the Oriental Mindoro government for the proposed bridge that will link the islands of Mindoro with the Luzon mainland by way of Batangas.
According to the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, the project involves the delivery of a 15-kilometer bridge with either two or four lanes spanning the passage from Oriental Mindoro to Batangas.
The project will cover the 8.5-kilometer stretch from Oriental Mindoro to Verde Island as well as the 6.5-kilometer segment to Batangas. The bridge is expected to become the first floating bridge in Southeast Asia with ship passage below its pontoons.
SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang said the firm has brought in experts from Europe to conduct the feasibility study for the bridge as SMC wants to ensure the project is put up sustainably.
“We have started bringing together global experts from across disciplines, including a European architectural and engineering firm to do the technical feasibility study on how the bridge can be built sustainably to benefit both people and the environment,” Ang said.
The bridge is expected to improve trade and travel activities in Southern Tagalog and hasten the transport of goods to and from the region.
In turn, the bridge is banked on to create jobs, raise investments and optimize basic services and utilities, expanding the local economy of provinces around Southern Tagalog.
Last year, SMC convened with Oriental Mindoro leaders to discuss how the bridge would be put up. During the meeting, Ang disclosed that it would take SMC a minimum of two years to build the infrastructure, especially as the project will require crossing deep waters.
Since then, SMC has hired the services of a Philippine firm to conduct the bathymetric survey to measure water depth. Under the plan, the bridge will start from Barangay Ilijan in Batangas and will end in Barangay Sinandigan in Puerto Galera.
The Marcos administration has listed the Mindoro-Batangas Super Bridge as one of its priorities under the PPP setup, a list that includes the P94.07-billion Metro Cebu Expressway, P12.6-billion Central Luzon Link Expressway and P12.45-billion Kennon Road rehabilitation.